Trump woos Hispanic voters in Florida ahead of 2024 election

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump is making a bid to win over Hispanic voters in Florida, a crucial swing state, as he prepares for a possible 2024 presidential run. Trump will hold a rally in Hialeah, a city with a large Cuban American population, on Wednesday, while his Republican rivals will face off in a debate in nearby Miami-Dade County.

Trump’s campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said the rally is part of the former president’s strategy to boost his support among Hispanics, who are the fastest-growing ethnic and racial group in the U.S. electorate. Trump performed well among Hispanic voters in Florida in the 2020 election, cutting down the margin of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden to 7 percentage points in Miami-Dade County, compared to 30 points in 2016.

Trump’s ally and potential 2024 rival, Governor Ron DeSantis, also won the county by a wide margin in his 2022 re-election bid, securing 65% of the Hispanic vote. Christian Ziegler, the chair of the Republican Party of Florida, said the party has gained a lot of voters from the Hispanic community, who are increasingly dissatisfied with the cultural and economic policies of the left.

Trump’s popularity among Hispanics in Florida is evident in Hialeah, where 96% of the residents are Latino. The city’s mayor, Esteban Bovo, said he would propose to rename a street after Trump, and endorsed him over DeSantis for the 2024 nomination. “In any other circumstance if Donald Trump wasn’t a candidate I think I would be fully in the DeSantis camp,” he told Reuters. “But to me, on this one, it’s kind of wait your turn, I guess.”

Trump is hoping to use his appeal among Hispanic voters to defeat DeSantis in the primary and Biden in the general election, if he decides to run again in 2024. He is also trying to expand his base beyond white, rural voters, and claims to have strong support from Black voters, according to some polls. However, Democrats are not giving up on their traditional advantage with Latino voters, and are working to counter Trump’s narrative and outreach.

Republicans Engage in Outreach Efforts in Florida

Republicans in Florida are actively working on community outreach programs to expand their support base.

Ziegler, a prominent figure in the party, noted that their efforts have led to increased connections with Hispanic voters. They have achieved this by focusing on issues that matter most to the Hispanic community, such as a program that enhances access to school vouchers. This program, signed into law by Governor DeSantis, has been pivotal in this outreach effort.

In a recent poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos in September, 38% of Hispanic respondents indicated they would vote for Biden, while 36% preferred Trump. This shift might be concerning for Biden, especially when considering that he had a substantial lead among Hispanic voters in 2020, as per Pew Research’s analysis of exit polls.

The Biden campaign is taking active steps to address this challenge. They recognize the importance of Hispanic, Black, and young voters for their prospects in the 2024 election. They are increasing their spending on Spanish-language advertisements and implementing other strategies to appeal to these demographics in swing states.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the unique political landscape in Florida. Once a battleground state, Florida has now firmly shifted into Republican territory, making it a challenging prize for Biden, regardless of his performance among Hispanic voters.

On the other side of the political spectrum, former President Trump faces a complex year ahead. He is seeking the Republican nomination while also dealing with four criminal trials and at least three civil trials, some related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. Despite his repeated unfounded claims of election fraud, his legal battles appear to resonate with Hispanic voters, particularly those who fled oppressive regimes and sympathize with his assertion that he is being unfairly persecuted for political reasons.

One Colombian-American businessman, Fabio Andrade, who is involved in organizing Hispanic voters through the “Republican Amigos” club, likened Trump’s legal situation to political persecution experiences in countries like Venezuela and Nicaragua.

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